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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Marchand Comes Through Twice in the Clutch for Biggest B's Win of the Season: 3-2 vs. Flyers in OT


The Flyers (28-25-13) have to be left wondering what they have to do to beat the Bruins (32-22-10) this season after Boston stunned them in a 3-2 overtime victory this afternoon at TD Garden. The problem is that unless they might in the playoffs this spring (which is unlikely to say the least), they'll have to wait until next season to snap a six-game losing streak vs. the Bruins.

Philly picked up a point at least but now they trail Boston by five points and even worse, the B's have two games in hand over them. The Flyers really needed those two points if they want to steal that eighth-seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins improved to 8-3 in overtime this season while the Flyers fell to 5-6 in the extra session.

After losing the first two meetings of the season, Philly looked poised to get two huge points on the road when something named Chris VandeVelde tipped in Nick Schultz's shot from the point at 15:30 of the third period. His ninth goal of the season was also assisted by Brayden Schenn. That's when Brad Marchand went to work: he tied it with a power-play goal (6-on-4 with Rask pulled) with 15 seconds left in regulation then won it with a backhander off Michael Del Zotto's skate with 1:08 left in OT.

Those were his 20th and 21st goals of the season, he's scored 20+ goals in four of his five years in the NHL (the only time that he didn't was during the 2012-13 lockout shortened season). Dougie Hamilton and Loui Eriksson assisted on Marchand's tying tip-in goal which almost brought down the Garden. Max Talbot picked up his first point as a Bruin and Ryan Spooner had the second assist on Marchand's game-winner.

For the seventh straight game, Boston scored the first goal. Zdeno Chara had a power-play tally at 7:07 of the first period from Hamilton and Patrice Bergeron. I thought initially that Bergeron might have gotten a piece of it but it stood for Chara's sixth goal of the season. Philly answered with a power-play strike of their own: Jakub Voracek whipped a shot from the slot off the post and in at 9:43 of the second period. His 20th goal of the season was assisted by Mark Streit and Claude Giroux.

Steve Mason (34 saves) really didn't deserve to lose because he was great basically all game and Tuukka Rask (29 saves) played well aside from VandeVelde's goal that trickled in. With Detroit (36-16-11) on tap tomorrow afternoon (12:30, NBC) back at the Garden, I'd be shocked if Bruins head coach Claude Julien started Niklas Svedberg over Rask. The Red Wings are currently in fifth-place in the East and nine points ahead of Boston. It is far from an ideal situation but if Rask is up for it, you have to keep playing him given the Bruins' shaky position in the standings.



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